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How Strong is a High-Flow 3D Printed Prosthetic Socket?



For the past few years, people have asked "How strong is a High-Flow 3D Printed Prosthetic Socket?". Fortunately, Bionic Prosthetics and Orthotics, led by Sagar Shetty, was able to conduct the first scientific research study that compared these sockets to traditionally fabricated sockets. The study compared high-flow 3D Printed sockets to traditionally laminated versions of the same shape. Each socket was fabricated three times in the same manufacturing method in the same material, and then tested through an ultimate failure test. While the full study is available above, to be downloaded and reviewed, this blog will go over the high level details of the study.


PETG and CF Laminated socket was compared to a high-flow PETG, PC, and PP (CPX) socket.


As shown below, the data is surprising in regards to how strong a high-flow socket really is. The yellow line, CPX, shows that our co-poly formula was able to be displaced (bent) more before an ultimate break was seen. It also showed a consistent breaking point as three sockets of each was tested to ensure reliable data was being collected.


Ultimate Failure point of the test sockets.



Socket Strength as indicated in the testing.


While this test is the first of its kind, there is a very important take away here, when designed correctly, a high-flow prosthetic socket printed with CPX is not terribly different than a laminated composite socket, in terms of ultimate force. In fact, the 3D Printed CPX socket showed a higher level of reliability at its break point when compared to the Composite Socket (CS), based on the smaller cluster of data pints. This data indicates that high-flow 3D Printed sockets are more "reliable" in terms of knowing their breaking point, than those made traditionally.


Please note this data is the first of its kind, and is being offered on a "as is" basis. There is no medical recommendations being made here, nor is Bionic O&P or Filament Innovations liable in anyway. Please review the study in detail to see how the sockets were designed, in order to understand the design to strength relationship.


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